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Sustainability

Smart Construction Materials: Alternatives to concrete aggregate

Alice-India Garwood
by Alice-India Garwood on November 28, 2018

Sustainable and create alternatives to everyday construction materials is something that many of us see as a luxury. Who has the time to think about it when there’s a deadline nearing? Well we’ve decided to take that time for you and explore some of the alternatives to concrete aggregate so you don’t have to!

Alternatives to concrete aggregate come in a myriad of forms. Here are just a couple of our favourites.

Crumbed rubber.

Crumbed rubber is a wonderful alternative to gravel aggregates for concrete. The rubber can be sourced from discarded tyres and other broken rubber products. This recycling can bring some sustainability in to what is otherwise a pretty energy guzzling process. The benefit of this process is that if the concrete fails there is no risk of shattering however the amount of air that ends up in the mix means the compressive strength is perhaps not as high as traditional concrete.

"The benefit of this process is that if the concrete fails there is no risk of shattering."

concrete, aggregate, construction, sustainability, crumbed rubber, bobtrade[Photo Credit: Cobalt Holdings LLC]

Glasscrete.

Glasscrete is, you guessed it, concrete with a glass aggregate. This is once again a great sustainable process reusing glass that might otherwise go to landfill. Not only this you have the benefit of some really interesting and decorative colours. Who doesn’t want to add a little colour to their day or their project? The glass increases the concretes resistance to abrasion better than a traditional stone aggregate and the glass in the mixture means you won’t have to use quite so much water which means less waste - brilliant! It’s also relatively low cost.

glass, concrete, aggregate, construction, sustainability, bobtrade[Photo Credit: Wonderopolis]

Plastic.

Plastic is the cause of so much eco-devastation. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could reduce this negative impact on our plants and wildlife and put our waste plastic to good use? High density polythene that has been shredded can be added to cement to create concrete. By heating and shrinking plastic bags, their density is perfect for concrete aggregates.

"By heating and shrinking plastic bags, their density is perfect for concrete aggregates."

plastic, concrete, aggregate, construction, sustainability, bobtrade[Photo Credit: Uplus BV]

So, there you go!

These are just three alternatives to traditional stone and gravel aggregates used in concrete. There is a whole world of other opportunities to recycle and beautify how we look at concrete and other materials we use every day. There are always new materials and ways to build and oh boy do we want them all!

Tags: Sustainability

AUTHOR
Alice-India Garwood

Alice-India Garwood

Content Marketing Executive at Bobtrade. Interested in design, sustainability and the history of construction. I love all things indie and theatrical.